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Customs and Excise

Welcome to Customs & Excise!

SARS’s Customs division plays an integral role in facilitating the movement of goods and people entering or exiting the borders of the Republic.

The Excise division facilitates the levying of duties on certain locally manufactured goods as well as on their imported equivalents.

During the lockdown period, for any escalations pertaining to a specific Customs branch or to make a branch appointment, see the Customs Branch contact details. If you need to escalate beyond branch offices, please email [email protected].  

Updates on Customs branch, ports, borders etc. closures:

  • UPDATED 6 January 2022 – The N4 road to Skilpadshek was cleared and is open again.
  • UPDATED 30 December 2021 – Kopfontein closed at 19:00 on 29 December 2021 and reopened this morning.
  • 26 December 2021 – Groblersbridge closed from 14:00 until 16:00.
  • UPDATED 25 December 2021 – Groblersbridge closed yesterday at 20:00 (24 December 2021) and will now only reopen this morning at 11:00.
  • UPDATED 23 December 2021 – Kopfontein closed at 12:15 and will reopen today at 21:00.
  • 23 December 2021 – Mahamba closed at 9:30 and reopening today at 15:00.
  • 21 December 2021 – Oshoek is closing at 16:30 until 20:30.
  • 21 December 2021 – Groblersbridge is closed from 13:00 until 15:00.
  • UPDATED 21 December 2021 – Ramathlabama closed at 8:30 and will reopen at 14:00.
  • 19 December 2021 – Kopfontein closed at 17:00 and reopens at 20:00.
  • 19 December 2021 – Oshoek closed at 16:30 and reopens at 20:30.
  • 19 December 2021 – Nakop is closed from 11:30 to 16:00 today.
  • UPDATED 19 December 2021 – Skilpadshek closed late night 18 December and will reopen on 19 December at 10:00.
  • 17 December 2021 – Mahamba is closed until further notice.
  • 17 December 2021 – Extension of operational hours at selected ports of entry for the 2021/22 festive period: Lebombo, Oshoek, Kosibay, Caledonspoort and Van Rooysensgate. See the letter from Home Affairs for more information.
  • UPDATED 15 December 2021 – Kopfontein has reopened after it closed at 8:30.
  • UPDATED 15 December 2021 – Ramathlabama has reopened after it closed yesterday at 21:00. 
  • 14 December 2021 – Oshoek is closed from 17:30 to 21:30.
  • UPDATED 14 December 2021 – Kopfontein will reopen today at 18:00 after it closed at 11:00 earlier.
  • UPDATED 14 December 2021 – Kopfontein reopened at 6:00 after closing yesterday at 20:00.
  • 13 December 2021 – Oshoek will be closed today from 14:30 until 18:30.
  • UPDATED 13 December 2021 – Kopfontein reopened at 6:00 after it closed yesterday at 19:00.
  • 12 December 2021 – Oshoek will be closed today from 10:00 until 14:00 . 
  • UPDATED 12 December 2021 – Maseru Bridge is closed and will reopen at 14:00 today.
  • 11 December 2021 – Kopfontein will reopen at 9:00.
  • UPDATED 11 December 2021 – Beitbridge commercial building reopened after it closed on 10 December 2021. Gate management and traveller sections were not affected and continuing as normal. 
  • UPDATED 10 December 2021 – Ramatlhabama closed on 9 December at 16:00 and has reopened today.
  • 9 December 2021 –  Mahamba closed at 19:00 and will reopen on 10 December 2021 at 7:00.
  • 9 December 2021 – Ramatlhabama closed from 16:00 until further notice.
  • 9 December 2021 – Oshoek will close at 10:00 and reopen at 14:00 today.
  • UPDATED 8 December 2021 – Durban Customs House has reopened.
  • 8 December 2021 – The VAT Export Incentive Scheme (VEIS) Pretoria office will be closed until 20 December 2021. Apologies for the inconvenience caused.
  • UPDATED 7 December 2021 – Kopfontein closed at 13:30 and will reopen tomorrow, 8 December, at 6:00.
  • UPDATED 7 December 2021 – Skilpadshek will reopen at 15:00.
  • UPDATED 6 December 2021 – Ramatlhabama port closed on 5 December and will reopen today, 6 December, at 14:00. 
  • 5 December 2021 – Oshoek closed at 17:30 and will reopen at 21:30.
  • UPDATED 5 December 2021 – Kopfontein closed on 4 December at 18:00 and reopened this morning, 5 December at 6:00.
  • UPDATED 2 December 2021 – Ficksburg Bridge’s cargo section reopened and the port is fully operational again.
  • UPDATED 2 December 2021 – Kopfontein is closed and will reopen at 17:00 today.
  • 1 December 2021 – Ficksburg Bridge’s cargo processing operations has closed until further notice. The travelleling section remains open.
  • 1 December 2021 – Oshoek will be closed from 10:00 until 14:00 today.

  • 4 January 2022 – Letter to Trade on the extension of ePenalty

    The ePenalty pilot focussed on the submission of advance loading and arrival cargo reports for imported goods in the sea and air modalities, as well as on export goods in the rail modality. The purpose was to provide cargo reporters with specific details of potential non-compliance on cargo reporting for them to take remedial action before monetary penalties are imposed. Following the conclusion of the pilot, engagements with affected stakeholders highlighted the need to receive additional ePenalty compliance letters to aid in further identifying potential shortcomings in the reporting of cargo by trade.

    SARS is committed to make it easy for traders to comply with their
    obligations and to work with them to improve their reporting compliance. As a result, it has been decided to extend the ePenalty pilot to 31 March 2022.

  • 26 November 2021 – Advance Payment Notification

    As part of the Customs Modernisation Programme (CMP), authorised dealers in foreign exchange and currency, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and SARS are collaborating to combat illicit financial flows and customs valuation fraud associated with the misuse of advance foreign exchange payments in respect of goods to be imported.

    On 3 December 2021, SARS will be implementing a new functionality on its eFiling platform for importers to notify SARS of their intention to apply to an authorised dealer for an advance foreign exchange payment in respect of goods to be imported. For more information, see the letter to Trade.

  • 22 November 2021 – Expiry date indicated on confirmation of registration on RLA system no longer applicable

    The expiry date indicated on confirmation of registration on Registration Licensing and Accreditation (RLA) system no longer applicable, for more information click here.

  • 11 November 2021 – Update and state of play of the AfCFTA

    Preferential trade under the AfCFTA is not yet possible as the tariff schedules required are still being negotiated. Once an agreement is reached on the tariff schedules, they will be appended to Annex 1 to the AfCFTA for adoption by the AU Submit. See the letter to Trade.  

  • 11 October 2021 – Calculation of national currencies for the various trade agreements were published on the Rules of Origin webpage under Customs:

  • 7 October 2021 – Automated controls for Rebate Item 536 during the COVID-19 pandemic

    The purpose of this letter is intended to ease and stream line the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) report stamp requirement under refund claim 536 and to provide control measures during the COVID pandemic and beyond through limiting physical contact, giving direct access and allowing for an automated assessment/verification as a control measure for Customs officers to perform their legislative and operational requirements for verification and assessment. See the Letter to Trade.

  • 30 September 2021 – Updated Customs Clearance Declarations

    The acquittal process of bonded and transit goods has been enhanced.  The information previously published in SC-TR-01-02 and SC-TR-01-03 has been inserted in SC-CF-54 and SC-CF-55 respectively, if it is still relevant to the new acquittal process.

    Customs will, on a risk based approach, stop goods that are in bond or in transit through South Africa and request supporting documents.  A Documentary Inspector will forward the case for a physical inspection.  The case will then be conditionally released. Proof that the goods were exported from South Africa or has left the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) must be uploaded by the declarant to the case within thirty (30) days.

    The completion of declaration manual (SC-CF-04) and its annexures have been re-numbered and is included as annexures in the external clearance declaration policy (SC-CF-55).  The Facility Code List SC-CF-04-A08 has been renumbered as SC-CF-19-A02 and incorporated into the external registration, licensing and designation policy (SC-CF-19).

    The printing of CN1 and CN2 at land-border posts are no longer part of the process.

    The annexures are attached to external policies.

    See the updated documents:

  • 17 September 2021 – Implementation of Manual Case Creation (MCC) MobiApp for customs officers

    On 20 September 2021, The South African Revenue Service (SARS) will implement enhancements to the Inspection Workflow System by introducing a Mobile Manual Case Creation (MCC) Application (MobiApp) at designated land ports of entry. See the Letter to Trade.
  • 10 September – Registration Licensing and Accreditation (RLA) update

    On 10 September 2021, SARS will implement an additional enhancement to the Registration, Licensing and Accreditation (RLA) system. For more information, see our letter to Trade.

  • 27 August 2021 – Pilot of Number Plate Recognition system

    SARS will soon pilot a new Number Plate Recognition (NPR) system to eliminate the need for manifests and CN2 notices to be presented at the border for arrival and exit control measures. For more information, see our letter to Trade.

  • 27 August 2021 – Pilot of ePenalty System

    SARS has developed an ePenalty system under its Reporting of Conveyances and Goods (RCG) project to identify instances of noncompliance with prescribed reporting obligations and to penalise cargo reporters accordingly. For more information, see our letter to Trade.

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